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A fruitful night for Ballynafeigh 1

(B&D Leagues 2014/15 Week 14) Despite conceding a surprise draw on board 1, Ballynafeigh 1 extended their lead to 20 points as the Belfast and District Leagues reach the two-thirds mark. Meanwhile, Belfast South 2 edged further ahead in Division 2.

Division 1

Fruithill 0.5-4.5 Ballynafeigh 1

With the home side a player short and the visitors enjoying a 600-point rating advantage per board, this top-versus-bottom clash looked a banker for a whitewash. Ciaran Marron (1658) had other ideas though, as he held David Houston (2083) to a draw. That was as good as it got for the home side, as Scannell, Jensen and Jamison dispatched Carrothers, Collins and Paul Logan respectively.

Ballynafeigh 2 4-1 Belfast South 1

Ballynafeigh 2 easily saw off an under-strength Belfast South 1 side. Ray Devenney defeated Damien Cunningham on board 1, but given the fact that the visitors hod no-one else rated over 1400 on their team, they would do very well to add to this win. Sure enough, Donaldson, O'Doherty, Woodfield and Chris Kelly all secured wins over Martin Kelly, Murphy, Truesdale and McDonald.

Lindores 1 vs Muldoons 1 was postponed.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Ballynafeigh 1 12 69
Lindores 1 11 49
Muldoons 1 10 43
Belfast South 1 12 37.5
Ballynafeigh 2 11 35
Bangor 11 23.5
Fruithill 11

15

Ballynafeigh 1 hold a commanding 20-point lead at the two-thirds mark; even if Muldoons 1 were to win both their postponed matches 5-0, they'd still be 12 points ahead. It's tempting to say the battle for the Silver King is done and dusted, but a lot can happen in the last seven weeks.

Division 2

Muldoons 2 1.5-3.5 QUB

QUB put on a good performance to see off Muldoons 2 as Matthew Chapman, Chris Cao and Paddy Magee all defeated opposition rated over 100 points higher. Peter Wilson earned a point for the home side by defeating Ram Rajan, while Bernard McCaughey drew with Chris Roe.

Ballynafeigh 5 1-4 NI Civil Service

Newcomer Edward Doak saved Ballynafeigh 5 from what would have been a ninth consecutive whitewash by defeating Adrian Dornford-Smith after the NICS player got into time trouble in an advantageous position and eventually ran out of time. By this point though, Shaw, Rainey, Billy Jackson and Bobby Campbell were seen off by May, David Jackson, Ferguson and Hindley respectively.

Belfast South 2 4-1 Ballynafeigh 4

The three sides still in contention for the John Strawbridge Cup were in action on Wednesday night; Lindores 2 and Ballynafeigh 3 faced each other, while leaders Belfast South 2 hosted Ballynafeigh 4. The visitors were ready and willing to do their part to aid their clubmates' title challenge, but whether they were able to proved to be an entirely different matter. Apart from a fine win for Suraj Tirupati (1050) over Neil Green (1422), the difference in class was too great as David Ruben, Bernard Jaffa, Stephen Critchlow and William Storey scored vital victories.

Lindores 2 1.5-3.5 Ballynafeigh 3

"Kelly's Heroes" will have been hoping for a draw - or a close match, at any rate - in this second-versus-third contest. The match got off to a good start for the leaders, as Ian Kilpatrick and Alan Thomason agreed a quick draw. It wasn't long before the visitors moved ahead, though, as Stephen Rush defeated Jim McLean. Eoin Carey then put Ballynafeigh 3 in the lead by beating Garhy Aboelsoud before Robert Lavery sealed the match against David Barr. Andy Hughes won for the home side against James Barbour.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Belfast South 2 13 69.5
Ballynafeigh 3 14 64
Lindores 2 14 60
NI Civil Service 14 56.5
Muldoons 2 14 47.5
Ballynafeigh 4 14 39.5
QUB 13 39
Ballynafeigh 5 14 3

There is one postponed game left to be played - namely Belfast South 2 vs QUB. The previous meeting between the two sides resulted in a draw; a repeat of that result would leave "Kelly's Heroes" nine points ahead - still within sight of Ballynafeigh 3, and perhaps not even Lindores 2 can be completely written off.

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